Thursday, March 4, 2010

Andrei The Bishop tending to his flock?

Matthew 21:12-16

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
So TV3 and the New Zealand Herald are going after Bishop Brian Tamaki precipitated by a mass walk out of Destiny's church in Brisbane.

The title Bishop for Brian Tamiki is problematical in any case, a little matter of the Apostolic succession but leaving that aside for now the question in my mind is, is this a matter of the secular going after the Church or is Destiny a cult, transferring money from the pockets of its followers into the pockets of the leadership?

Well I just listened on-line to the sermon he gave last night and the bulk of it was about "giving" and rebuilding the house of God, which in this case means the purchase of TV time. It doesn't sit easy with me.

The Church since the time of the Apostles has needed to be supported financially but the financial aspects of its operation have always been peripheral to its mission, that of saving souls.

Sure you can find examples of venial Bishops throughout history but they are vastly outnumbered by men and women, ordained and laity living lives for the Lord in circumstances that can only be described as poverty - and it is they who are the heroes of the Church as a rule, rather than the Bishops in their palaces - venial or not.

Which is not to say that there haven't been many bishops who have been sanctified throught the ages.

But the wisdom of the ages has been transmitted by the likes of the Desert Fathers and they did it without recourse to television.

From the Wisdom of the Desert
A certain man asked a hermit to receive a gift of money for his own use. He refused, saying that the earnings of his labour sufficed him. The other, however, besought him to take the money and use it for the poor, if not for himself. The hermit replied, "So I should run a double risk. I should take what I do not want. I should distribute what another gave, and be praised."
I wonder if Brian Tamiki is acquainted with such examples?

6 comment(s):

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

The Bish has moved quickly to preserve the integrity of his Australian cash flow.

I wonder if the word you were looking for is venal?

venal /"vi;n(@)l/
· adj. showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery.

..compared with

venial /"vi;nI@l/
· adj. Christian Theology denoting a sin that is not regarded as depriving the soul of divine grace. Often contrasted with mortal. Ø (of a fault or offence) slight and pardonable.

Bearhunter said...

It's hard not to be repulsed by the naked greed of the man, but then he is not alone.
But what is the difference between Tamaki asking for money from people who can ill afford it in order to pay his church's bills and Irish bishops asking for money from parishioners to pay their church's bills?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not off on an anti-Catholic rant; but I'd be interested in what exactly the difference is between Destiny and the Diocese of Ferns when it comes to dipping into someone else's pockets to pay the bills.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

To inject a serious note into the discussion, few people who join a church will realise they take on a personal liability for such penalties as may be incurred by office bearers' various past and present misdemeanors.

I'm waiting for the day a parishioner sues his church for non disclosure of these vast contingent liabilities at the time of his taking up membership .

Bearhunter said...

AF, I think there'll be a few people in Ireland investigating just such a possibility in the coming weeks, if my dear sainted mother's reaction is anything to go by.

Andrei said...

To inject a serious note into the discussion, few people who join a church will realise they take on a personal liability for such penalties as may be incurred by office bearers' various past and present misdemeanors.

They haven't Adolf - that particular Diocese has obligations due to the scandal, obligations the Bishop is endeavoring to meet.

The Diocese could go bankrupt I suppose - that would please those out for blood.

They can sell property, which has been done - but how much property can they sell - should the sell parish churches.

Is taking money from the Sunday collection the thing to do?

Or the idea as floated was to ask the Parish Councils for help - an idea that went down like a lead balloon but not a dishonest one.

Bishop Brennan, has to solve the problem of meeting this liability and running the Diocese and whatever he does he will cop it - and he is not responsible for any of this, just cleaning up the mess.

Bearhunter said...

I never said he was responsible for any of it. Denis Brennan is a good man, I've known him for most of my life, but I think when the legal bills arose from the criminality of clergy, then it's a bit rich to expect the parishioners to fork out.
If the church in Ireland is that broke, let it apply for funding from head office as other organisations do. They've done pretty well so far, after all. The Irish taxpayer has paid out more than the Church so far.

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